Andy Carroll

West Brom 0-0 West Ham: Barry makes history in snoozy affair

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  • Two total shots on target
  • Obiang hits cross bar
  • Barry becomes first PL player to start 600 matches

Gareth Barry tied Ryan Giggs’ record for most Premier League appearances with 632, a figure about 631 digits higher than the amount of entertaining chances at the Hawthorns in a scoreless draw on Saturday.

West Brom sits ninth with eight points from five matches, while West Ham’s fourth point has it sitting 18th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Andy Carroll‘s run toward a diagonal ball nearly brought danger, but his first touch was tricky.

A pair of West Brom chances followed, including history-making Barry’s attempt at a headed corner diverted over the bar.

Pedro Obiang had the audacity to shoot from 40-plus yards, and saw his curling effort crank off the cross bar.

In a game begging for action, Ben Foster saw yellow for chopping down Javier Hernandez outside the 18.

That was really it, as Tony Pulis got a point in Tony Pulis fashion!

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Latest Premier League player Power Rankings

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It is time to reflect on where we are at during the 2017-18 Premier League season and rank the players who stood tall in Week 4.

[ MORE: Power Rankings archive ]

Players from Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea dominate the list as their good form continues, while a few Man United players slip down the list as stars from Liverpool and Arsenalslide out of the top 20.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League.

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections of the top 20 players in the PL right now.


  1. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – New entry
  2. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – New entry
  3. Alvaro Morata (Chelsea) – Up 1
  4. Pascal Gross (Brighton & Hove Albion) – New entry
  5. Jack Butland (Stoke City) – New entry
  6. Cesar Azpcilicueta (Chelsea) – New entry
  7. Willian (Chelsea) – Up 2
  8. Gabriel Jesus (Man City) – New entry
  9. Romelu Lukaku (Man United) – New entry
  10. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) – New entry
  11. Paul Pogba (Man United) – Down 9
  12. Erik Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City) – New entry
  13. Nemanja Matic (Man United) – Down 1
  14. Dele Alli (Tottenham) – Up 2
  15. David Silva (Man City) – Down 5
  16. Benjamin Mendy (Man City) – New entry
  17. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) – Down 4
  18. Pedro (Chelsea) – New entry
  19. Michail Antonio (West Ham) – New entry
  20. Andy Carroll (West Ham) – New entry

STREAM: West Ham United vs. Huddersfield Town

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West Ham’s next chance for its first points of the Premier League season comes with a Monday visit from surprising Huddersfield Town (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ STREAM: West Ham vs. Huddersfield Town ]

The Irons will hope that a starting role for Andy Carroll can help them get the job done, and pairing with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has to be an enticing idea for embattled coach Slaven Bilic.

For Huddersfield Town, Jonas Lossl is between the sticks with a chance to become just the fourth goalkeeper in PL history to start his career with four clean sheets. The Danish backstop would join Pepe Reina, Anders Lindegaard, and Alex Manninger.

This is the first match between West Ham and Huddersfield Town since the 1997-98 League Cup.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Collins, Fonte, Cresswell, Kouyate, Obiang, Antonio, Chicharito, Carroll. Subs: Adrian, Byram, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Rice, Ayew, Sakho.

Huddersfield Town: Lossl; Smith, Schindler, Billing, Lowe, Mooy, Zanka, Ince, Van La Parra, Kachunga, Mounie. Subs: Coleman, Malone, Sabiri, Williams, Depoitre, Hadergjonaj, Hefele.

PL Sunday preview: Man Utd, Spurs begin title quests

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We’re 80 percent of the way through the opening weekend of the 2017-18 Premier League season, which means two games — featuring two of the six presumed title hopefuls — on the Sunday schedule…

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — A wild return for the top flight! ]

Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 8:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Tottenham haven’t spent a penny all summer (maybe you’ve heard), despite netting $65 million in exchange for Kyle Walker, but worst of all, Danny Rose went public with his own frustrations this week, leaving one to wonder if everyone in the dressing feels the same. Suffice to say, Mauricio Pochettino welcomes the “distraction” of real games to be played.

The last time Spurs visited St. James’ Park, Newcastle embarrassed Pochettino’s men, 5-1, on the final day of the 2015-16 season. The defeat saw Spurs fall from second in the league table, down to third, behind Arsenal. The Magpies had been relegated to the Championship weeks earlier, but manager Rafa Benitez stuck around for a season in England’s second division and brought the club back to the PL at the first time of asking.

INJURIES: Newcastle — OUT: DeAndre Yedlin (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: Dwight Gayle (hamstring) | Tottenham — OUT: Danny Rose (knee), Erik Lamela (hip), Son Heung-min (arm); QUESTIONABLE: Kieran Tripper (ankle), Victor Wanyama (knee)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Manchester United vs. West Ham United — 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

While far from the busiest of the PL’s six title hopefuls this summer, Man United’s transfer business was conducted on a must-be-addressed basis — star striker Romelu Lukaku, to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney; Nemanja Matic, to anchor the midfield and protect a shaky set of center backs; Victor Lindelof, to displace those shaky center backs — perhaps more so than any other side. Given the number of injuries Jose Mourinho was forced to navigate last season, spending just short of $190 million on reinforcements was the Red Devils’ only way back into genuine title contention.

As for West Ham, Slaven Bilic needs to deliver serious improvement on last season’s 11th-place finish — and a much faster start to the campaign — if he’s to complete his third full season in charge of the Hammers. While Marko Arnautovic goes down as the club-record signing ($26 million) from the summer, it’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez ($18 million) on whom all eyes will be focused on Sunday, as Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer returns to Old Trafford, to face the manager who many believe forced him out, for the first time since leaving the club for Bayer Leverkusen nearly two years ago.

“I can just say it’s luck,” Hernandez said when asked about his storybook return to life in the PL. “It was a great experience [there] … only happiness. I was living my dream and made that big step, which is not common. There is nothing negative about going there. It’s going to be my first game with my new club, against my old club in my old house. It’s only positive things – it’s an important moment for me.”

INJURIES: Man United — OUT: Luke Shaw (foot), Marcos Rojo (knee), Ashley Young (hamstring), James Wilson (knee) | West Ham — OUT: Michail Antonio (hamstring), Sofiane Feghouli (hamstring), Andy Carroll (groin); QUESTIONABLE: Manuel Lanzini (knee), Marko Arnautovic (leg)

Premier League 2017-18 preview – West Ham United

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West Ham truly, truly struggled at times last season. Injuries were abound. There were questions asked of Slaven Bilic.

And yet through all that, they finished 11th. That seems to speak to the depth of the roster and the fantastic, sometimes underappreciated managerial job Bilic did to keep the Hammers afloat despite all the struggles.

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This year, the bad luck should turn around. West Ham shedded the excess fat on the squad and brought in a pair of impact players who should step right into the starting lineup. Marko Arnautovic especially is a fantastic addition, who along with Robert Snodgrass, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli, and Michail Antonio should provide plenty for new signing Chicharito to feast on.

Best, worst case scenarios – Best case, this is a Europa League team. With all the new attacking talent for Bilic to play with, he can rotate players to avoid or deal with injuries. At the back, Bilic will have to find his preferred formation, because the depth will give him headaches – a good problem to have.

Through all the problems last season, the team still finished strong and away from the relegation battle, proving they are not a relegation candidate this season, even if the injury troubles return. Worst-case is probably another early flirt with the bottom third, but ultimately they pull out of it for a 13th place spot.


Best possible XI is…

Hart

Fonte — Reid — Ogbonna

Antonio — Noble — Lanzini  — Kouyate — Arnautovic

Carroll — Hernandez

This is tough, and you can be sure Bilic will rotate plenty. Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell will get time in a typical 4-man defensive line, while Robert Snodgrass and Sofiane Feghouli will rotate through on the wings. Diafra Sakho provides striker depth.


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City, $27 million), Chicharito (Bayer Leverkusen, $21 million), Joe Hart (Manchester City, Loan), Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City, Free).

Transfers Out: Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough, $9 million), Havard Nordtveit (Hoffenheim, $8.5 million), Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough, $6.6 million), Raphael Spiegel (Boavista, Free), Stephen Hendrie (Southend United, Free Transfer).

Last season: 

— 11th place in Premier League
— FA Cup 3rd Round (lost to Manchester City)
— League Cup quarterfinals (lost to Manchester United)

Star Player: Chicharito — Last season, West Ham seriously missed a player who could finish chances with Andy Carroll either out or misfiring. Now, they have a guy who can provide that final touch. Chicharito is a top-class striker who will eat up the goals where last season the Hammers failed to find the back of the net.

Last year, West Ham was ninth in the Premier League in chances created. Add Arnautovic to that mix, plus a healthy Snodgrass and Lanzini, and this season could be a big return to England for the Little Pea.

Coach’s Corner: Slaven Bilic — If it wasn’t clear after his first season in charge at West Ham, last season should prove how valuable the 48-year-old Croatian is to the Hammers. Bilic is able to mix and match his tactics to fit who is available and on the field, such an important trait last season when players were dropping like flies. Now, with good squad depth, he’ll need to channel that ability again to get everyone’s best.

PST Predicts: With the creative talent and steadiness at the back, West Ham should seriously improve on last season. They’ll finish more chances, and with Bilic in charge, this should be a top-half team with a shot at a Europa League spot.